GOSHEN — The water is going to rise.
That’s the warning from the National Weather Service, which has issued a flood watch for the Goshen area.
The NWS warned Wednesday that the rain and spring-like temperatures moving into the Goshen area this week will create the potential for serious flooding, particularly due to the significant amount of snowfall the area has seen over the past few weeks.
“We are going through a bit of a warm-up right now, which I’m sure is a relief for a lot of people in the area,” said Evan Bentley, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service office in North Webster. “We’re expecting that to peak around Thursday, where we could see temperatures as high as 50 degrees along with a good amount of rain. Then by Friday temps will begin falling back down again, and by the end of the weekend we’ll be back below freezing, with the temps beginning early next week expected to drop down even lower, into the teens. So it’ll be a very brief warm-up.”
Brief as it may be, Bentley said the predicted rain, coupled with the warm temperatures and melting snowpack, could combine for some significant flooding, leading the service to issue a flood watch for the Goshen-area from Thursday morning through late Thursday night.
“Flooding is definitely a concern that we have, especially in Elkhart County,” Bentley said. “We’ve got at least 3 to 3½ inches of water trapped in the snowpack, so with that plus about an inch or so of rain that’s expected in the next day or so, we definitely have some concerns.”
Bentley noted that water from the melting snow and rain could be even further exacerbated by the fact that the ground is frozen solid, giving the water nowhere to soak in.